Baseball Has His Number: 42 Players, Coaches to Pay Tribute to Jackie Robinson on Sunday

By McDill, Kent | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 13, 2007 | Go to article overview

Baseball Has His Number: 42 Players, Coaches to Pay Tribute to Jackie Robinson on Sunday


McDill, Kent, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Kent McDill Daily Herald Sports Writer

Baseball is all about numbers, and on Sunday, the only one will be 42.

That was the jersey number worn by Jackie Robinson when he broke the major-league color barrier in 1947.

Sixty years ago.

On Sunday at Wrigley Field, Ken Griffey Jr. of the Cincinnati Reds and Derrek Lee of the Cubs will be among the numerous players throughout the major leagues who will wear No. 42 in celebration of Robinson's legacy.

Commissioner Bud Selig ruled that any uniformed personnel could wear the number Sunday. No. 42 was retired by all ballclubs in 1997 in honor of Robinson.

Robinson broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and played with them until 1956.

Sunday, the entire Los Angeles Dodgers roster will wear No. 42. So will the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Joining the Cubs' Lee will be teammates Jacque Jones, Cliff Floyd and Daryle Ward.

When the White Sox play at Cleveland on Sunday, No. 42 will be worn by White Sox Jermaine Dye and coaches Harold Baines and Razor Shines.

The idea to honor Robinson in this way was first suggested by Griffey, who also wore the No. 42 in 1997.

"If he didn't overcome the racial tension, would I be wearing this uniform?" Griffey said to The Cincinnati Post. "When would the next opportunity have been for an African-American to put on a major-league uniform if he didn't achieve what he did?"

Robinson first played at Wrigley Field on May 18, 1947. …

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